Sunday, September 11, 2005

God's House at Ground Zero
A Guest Post by Ground Zero Worker Robert N. Going

Some things I left out of my account of my conversation with Frank Silecchia, the guy who found the cross:

He had a can of orange spray paint. He was alone going from room to room looking for survivors or bodies and marking them as he completed the search. After he finally got up off his knees after seeing the cross, he went to the nearest pillar and painted: "God's House." In the days that followed it became a place of quiet refuge for the workers, and visiting dignitaries were brought in to see it.

When they received permission to remove the cross from the soon-to-be-demolished building, Frankie invited all his fellow-laborers to inscribe a sentiment on it, including names of friends who had died there.

One man hesitated.

"I don't know if I should," he said. "I'm Jewish."

Frankie hugged him. "It's for everyone."

Which is how the Star of David came to be carved into that rusty crossbeam.